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Live Messenger Comes to Xbox 360

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Xbox 360 owners can now experience Windows Live Messenger on their gaming consoles, Windows-based PCs, and Windows Mobile-powered devices.

This announcement comes as part of Xbox 360's spring update, bringing Xbox 360 owners worldwide - access to Windows Live Messenger features on their TV screens through their gaming consoles.

With this update, friends and families can connect directly from their televisions using Windows Live Messenger, and enjoy voice or video chat. The service can be used to text chat with up to six people at one time, while playing games, listening to music, or watching movies.

According to Microsoft, current relationships on Windows Live Messenger and Xbox Live will be unified on Xbox 360, and users will be able to see at a glance if their existing friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags, expanding the breadth of connected experiences they can share online.

Users of Windows Live Messenger on Xbox 360 will text chat using the virtual keyboard accessible on Xbox 360, or by connecting a USB keyboard to the console. Microsoft will be launching a QWERTY text-input device, a new accessory that will connect directly to the Xbox 360 controller to support text and instant messaging.

Apart from Windows Live Messenger, the spring update for Xbox 360 includes some more features and enhancements such as a richer achievement notification pop-up that will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamerscore value; enhanced family settings for Xbox LIVE enabling defaults for video and voice chat; a new Xbox Live Marketplace blade that lets Xbox Live members access the content from one place on Xbox Live.

In addition, users will be able to quickly see which Xbox Live Arcade games their friends are playing, and join in the fun. Another new feature is faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox Live Arcade games. The new progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options, by allowing fast-forward, rewind, pause, and resume as the video is downloading from Xbox Live Marketplace.

All Spring updates, including that of Windows Live Messenger, will be available for free - beginning the week of May 7th.

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